Directors: James Mangold
Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen
Genre: Action, Drama
Wolverine has watched all of the people he cares about die and is ready to commit seppuku. But there’s a mysterious girl that has one last request before he does.
Ev. Ry. Thing. We get to see the ferocity that should have accompanied Wolverine all along while also seeing the aftermath of living with subjecting people to that level of mutilation.
This isn’t a bad thing, but you need to be prepared for brutal violence and a movie that shows some of your favorite X-people ready to commit suicide. Otherwise you will hate this movie.
What Else You Should be Watching:
I’ve heard a few people compare this to Children of Men. I think the plot points are similar but Logan is the better movie, in my opinion. It’s still worth it to check it out, though.
Oh, that trailer… I just watched it again and had to stop and savor it for a few minutes afterwards. The last time I saw a trailer that was that powerful was for Watchmen and, in that instance, the trailer was vastly superior to the movie. In fact, I was willing to bet the farm that Logan wouldn’t be able to live up to such an incredible trailer but BOY was I wrong. Everything that you possibly need to know about this movie can be found in that trailer; it perfectly captures the feeling of despair that plagues Logan and the hopelessness that he’s let consume him.
This is not a happy movie. This is not an X-men movie. This is not a superhero movie. This is something else entirely and it’s all the better for it.
The costumed escapades have been stripped away and what’s left are questions like “What happens when someone who is functionally immortal outlives everyone he cares about?” and “What happens when the most powerful psychic in the world gets dementia?” We see a Logan who has lost all will to live and a Professor X who reminds you of how hard it is to visit your grandpa in the nursing home. But that’s the beauty of it. This movie is able to pluck at feelings as you pine for these fictitious characters in just the right way. No, it isn’t pretty, but by god is it impactful.
We also FINALLY get to see a hard R version of a man with claws shooting out of his hands go to town on people (thank you Deadpool for paving the way!) but by the end of it you may regret your wish. Where Deadpool revels in its completely absurd, over the top ultra-violence, Logan shows us a primal brutality that is terrifying to witness. But, again, that’s exactly the point. It’s showing us all of the horrors that Logan has to live with. This isn’t something he enjoys doing and he’s come to realize the pain that it causes others and he’s ready for it to end.
Don’t get me wrong, there are still plenty of fun moments; this isn’t Batman vs Superman, which was oppressively dreary and void of any humor. We get to see Logan forced into a mentorship role, the hopefulness of the girl he’s trying to protect and a family roadtrip with Professor X playing the role of ‘gramps’. But all of that is to help temper the driving themes of loss and redemption.
The only bad thing I have to say about this movie is that it makes a huge mess of the X-Men movie continuity but I’ll save that for an entirely separate post.
I’ve heard a lot of people say that Logan is The Dark Knight of the X-Men franchise. I see what they’re trying to say but I think that’s not giving Logan enough credit. The Dark Knight was an incredible movie that showed how well done a superhero movie could be but it still operated firmly within the bounds of a ‘super hero story.’ If you ask me, Logan has managed to transcend even that. This is a heartfelt drama that just so happens to star a guy who has claws for hands.
Logan is not for the faint of heart; you’re treated to the unbridled furor Wolverine fans have been waiting for but also the repercussions of a man living with doing that to human beings. But if you can steel yourself for the visual and emotional gut punches then you’ll find that this movie has something profound to say.